28 November 1997

Housing in the future

HOLLANDS pig housing could be based around centrally ventilated buildings with plastic walled pens and novel slurry removal in the 21st century.

That is according to Jos Kampshof of Hollands DVL consultancy, which presented its view of future pig housing at VIV Europe.

In addition to closed circuit TV for sow monitoring and implantable ID chips the DVLs life-sized mock up of a futuristic pig building boasted central ventilation.

This relies on only two large fans in each building rather than several smaller fans in each room. The big fans are enclosed in a roof space and extract air from the pens through outlets in a suspended ceiling.

"Air flow is regulated by automatically controlled ventilation flaps as opposed to a fan in each room," explained Mr Kampshof.

One of the fans is needed only as an emergency back up, so a single fan of 82cm (32in) diameter is enough to remove 24,000cu m/hour, a rate sufficient for a 400-pig house.

This means electricity use is minimised and central ventilation uses 50% less energy than a conventional system. Wind effect in each room is also eliminated making a more even extraction.

"Plastic will play a major role in the future, with PVC coated walls and sold plastic walling in pens making cleaning easier and cheaper. Plastic could also be used to coat slatted flooring making it less abrasive," suggested Mr Kampshof.

He said ammonia emission would be the subject of increasing legislation. Slurry removal in future would, therefore, have to be designed to remove slurry rapidly to cut the chance of ammonia losses.

Novel slurry removal for 21st century.